Friday, April 29, 2016

The Boston International Film Festival was a Hoot!

In particular I'd like to congratulate John McGuinness the stalwart Director of "A Padded Envelope from Madrid" and Gawaine Ross the film's Leader Actor (working next to Orson Welles, Not Bad!) for all their superlative work and contributions on the road to Festival Glory. If I have a main takeaway from both our screenings it is that there is something about the acronym "U.F.O." even when used in an facetious context that flips a big old knife-switch in people's heads. We ended up answering a lot of entirely earnest questions about extraterrestrials and flying saucers at our post screening Q&As. Not question one about Orson Welles....and yet the whole film was a short of birthday for his "One Hundredth Birthday" in 2015. Bruce Lee teaches us that all knowledge is in the end self knowledge so my big revelation from the BIFF is that flying saucers instantly lower people's inhibitions like straight whiskey....otherwise how to account for entirely unselfconscious questions about pan dimensional beings skulking our lonely highways late at night? That must be pondered over time, once again though kudos and props to Messr's McGuinness & Ross, so glad they tracked me down and pried a script out of me, health to all their endeavors they are worthy collaborators.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

"A Padded Envelope from Madrid"

Back in 2004, when Channel Zero was literally chased out into the streets of Brookline by the Coolidge Corner Theatre, I remarked to my co-curator, that if this kept up we'd have to start making the movies ourselves.... and so some twelve years later Channel Zero has produced it's first film, "A Padded Envelope from Madrid" which is an official selection at the Boston International Film Festival next weekend! I admit to writing and acting as executive producer but without the assistance of Director John McGuinness and our redoubtable on screen talent Gawaine Ross, the damn thing woulda never have come off. To them I am grateful. Admittedly, "A Padded Envelope from Madrid" is only seven minutes long....but hell we have to start somewhere I guess... What the film is otherwise is a mystery for lack of a better word "A Timely Warning of an Alien Invasion? A Hoary Old War Story? A Lost Television Pilot from a Great Auteur...or perhaps Something Else?" "Fact, Fiction or...Something Else?" "A Padded Envelope from Madrid" screens Saturday April 16th at 11:30am at 26 West Street Boston MA (just off Downtown Crossing) tickets at the door are 12.00 or can be ordered on line at you can also see program information on the other films on the bill with our own unique effort. There will also be an encore screening on Sunday at 3pm with a selection of other short films. (same venue never fear) We've crossed a great divide here after twenty one years, we hope you can join us next weekend....and see the results of our work. Meanwhile, Check Out Our Trailer (cuz every seven minute film deserves a trailer)

Monday, April 04, 2016

Batman v. Superman: The Dawn of Justice (2016)

Y'know Zack Snyder, the director of the above motion picture is at the end of the day, a scavenger. He made his bones relentlessly cherry picking the payoff scenes from Alan Moore's graphic novel "The Watchmen" (regardless of common sense or continuity)and then watched the money roll in like a lethal Tsunami. Thats the exact same approach he takes to "Batman v. Superman" except this time he has two and a half interminable lugubrious hours to sample neary thirty years of "iconic" storylines. The result is incomprehensible (I think Lex Luthor was behind it all or else the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) and the box office is all the same rock solid. In short, I couldn't figure out Lex Luthor's plot one bit but then again clearly neither could he.... I actually was pleasantly surprised by Ben Affleck I thought for sure he'd done this movie to leverage some directorial project down the line, but whatever his reasons he seems to "get" a Caped Crusader on the cusp of Middle Aged Decline. Ditto Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman who makes a graceful credible amazing amazon, you could almost forget she is essentially shoe horned into the climax for no reason than to pad out the running time to an "Epic" 2.5 hours. I'm calling it on Henry Cavill's Superman though, the man is a jobber, he looks the part all right, akin to an Alex painting of The Man of Steel but his acting component is pretty unspectacular. He has no chemistry at all with Amy Adams' Lois Lane which is a sordid waste of a good actress and her notable chops. As for Jesse Eisenberg....that kid is amazing he finally took Lex Luthor the Mad Scientist's Mad Scientist and made him fidgety and annoying. "Doomsday" (a DNAlien by way of Krypton shoe-horned like ever other touchstone Easter egg from the DCU) looked unfinished a vaguely cheap looking although the three way fight between him, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman was rousing enough I guess. But if you took out all the tedious dream sequences and convoluted rubbish you might have a passable ninety minute film but nobody makes ninety minute superhero movies anymore. My own personal theory is that Zack Snyder fired two rounds from a double barreled twelve gauge shotgun into the script and bade his writers connect the plot holes however they must.... I didn't loathe "Batman v. Superman" as much as I hated "Man of Steel"....but that is pretty much a confession of defeat on my part. DC is making millions off of my favorites and I couldn't care less. Nice work Zack....